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Apple Named “Least Green” Tech Company by Greenpeace

Posted By Laura K. Cowan On April 21, 2011 @ 3:00 pm In Green Business,green technology,News | 5 Comments

Apple iPhone 4, green technology, sustainable technology, Greenpeace, How Dirty Is Your Data [1]

Greenpeace [2] just named Apple the least green company on its list of tech firms [3] because of its reliance on dirty coal [4] to power the company’s data centers. Greenpeace’s report, “How Dirty Is Your Data?,” shows that Apple’s investment in a new data center in North Carolina will triple its electricity consumption, which is the same amount of electricity used by 80,000 U.S. homes. Sixty-two percent of the new data center’s energy will be supplied by coal, with 32% supplied by nuclear power [5].

Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, green technology, sustainable technology, Greenpeace, How Dirty Is Your Data [6]

Overall, Greenpeace’s report estimates that Apple relies on coal for 54.5% of its data center energy needs, but that’s not much more than Facebook’s 53.2%. The greenest tech companies listed in the report are Yahoo!, Google, and Amazon. Jonathan Koomey, a project scientist for the End-Use Forecasting Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory [7], whose work was cited in the study, defended the IT industry against criticism: “The use of IT often reduces environmental impacts. When we compared greenhouse gas emissions for downloading music to buying it on a CD, for example, we found downloads reduced emissions 40-80%.”

What do you think of this report? Do the large data centers required for cloud computing help or harm the environment?

+ Greenpeace [2]

Via Guardian [8]

Photos © Yutaka Tsutano [9]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/apple-named-least-green-tech-company-by-greenpeace/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/apple-named-least-green-tech-company-by-greenpeace/rsz_apple-iphone/

[2] Greenpeace: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/

[3] tech firms: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=tech+firm

[4] dirty coal: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=dirty+coal

[5] nuclear power: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=nuclear

[6] Image: http://inhabitat.com/apple-named-least-green-tech-company-by-greenpeace/rsz_apple-iphone-ipad/

[7] End-Use Forecasting Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: http://enduse.lbl.gov/

[8] Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/21/apple-least-green-tech-company

[9] Yutaka Tsutano: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivyfield/

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